Ultimate Mazzer (Major) mods and some questions

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
Ben Mc

#1: Post by Ben Mc »

Firstly - I have looked at many, many Mazzer mod posts before getting to this point - I am pretty confident I have seen most so if you think the answer lies elsewhere, apologies if I missed it in my research.
I acquired a Mazzer Major by mistake (didn't check the photos carefully enough - thought I was buying a Super Jolly!!!) for an absolute steal (the vendor didn't check the price he had typed carefully enough - long story short we are both ok with the result). An ex-restaurant manager I am perfectly competent and confident dialling in a grinder, changing the burrs etc, but beyond that my capabilities wane a little.

I have managed to remove the doser and the wiring for the cut off switch and counter and have been scouring posts on this and other forums to help decide what best to do from here. My thoughts are that having gotten this far (I have got a fudge funnel already), that it would be a shame to simply reassemble and given I saved some beans on the purchase price, would like to enhance what will most likely be my forever grinder.

I am not a capable or confident modder - a friend who is a DT teacher is going to drill and cut the s/s funnel (I bought a factory backing plate), so removing the switch wiring and putting jumper wires in their place is where my confidence and ability ends.

Questions I have:

Sanding/powder coating/sand-blasting - is there an easy way to remove the motor without the oven treatment? I could see me ending up destroying the grinder in the process. If not, is sand-blasting (can apertures be effectively sealed off?) suitable? The paintwork is fairly chipped in places and once the grinder is reassembeled I can't see myself taking the time to revisit this - would I just have to invest in a Black and Decker Mouse etc? The same friend could probably spray paint or I could investigate body shops local to Berkshire (Reading). I would like the stripped aluminium look - again, how easy is it to get bodies anodysed?

Doserless funnel - it would seem to make sense to me to have the top lip sit flush below the collar - some suggest it should sit a little higher - what is the received wisdom please? Can I use a silicone swimming cap to fashion a gasket to fit behind? And I have read about people grounding the funnel - is that easily achieved and would that cut down on static? Is there a magic amount to cut off thebottom of the funnel for the grounds to fall through?

Lifting the lower burr plate - I have put three longer screws in to get more leverage but it is proving rather immoveable - is it worth my while to persevere or should I just put the hoover nozzle there and then reattach the burr (I have bought fresh burrs as the machine was well-used in a restaurant setting)?

Switch and other electrical mods - it's an on/off, not a timer, but is it worth replacing with a nice chrome toggle switch - is there anything I need to take care about/beware of with this? I work alongside an electrician who I will either ask to do the work for me or ask to check my work so I don't kill myself before the burrs turn. To that end I intend to replace the power cable with something a little funkier - I was also thinking to do the same with the power light. I have no interest in dark room timers etc - I will weigh my beans and won't use a hopper. Is there anything else I should bear in mind?

Any thoughts, recommendations and/or guidance very much welcomed - sorry - I know this is a well-trodden path with many posts on it already (I have trawled through most of them to get to this point!). Thank you in advance for your help, support and advice - it's great to be back in the world of espresso and I hope to share my progress with you in due course!

cdo

#2: Post by cdo » replying to Ben Mc »

You cannot powder coat the body without removing all wiring and the motor, baking at 400 is not a very good idea for the winding insulation. You will have a pretty tough time removing the motor completely, I have read it requires heating and a press. I also wouldn't recommend sandblasting if you are just taping off the points of entry as there would be too much pressure, you could manually sand with it being taped off though

As for the doserless funnel mod it works fine but you will still have accumulation in the chute. I cut my pancake chute to be about 3/4" to 1" with no issue.

Ben Mc

#3: Post by Ben Mc » replying to cdo »

Thanks - I was reluctantly aware that removing the motor was unavoidable if powder coating, similarly in denial about the sand-blasting caveats. Looking like a summer in the garden with a sander getting progressively smoother...

Re. the doserless funnel mod and accumulation - do you mean if you don't cut the nozzle wider? Or even when you do enlarge it?

Thanks for the feedback.

cdo

#4: Post by cdo » replying to Ben Mc »

The first chute I refer to that buildup accumulates in is the exit chute from the grind chamber into the pancake hopper. I would use a brush or puffer to spray out the area after every shot.

Ben Mc

#5: Post by Ben Mc »

Got it, thanks. I have already bought a camera lens pump for that.

nahau

#6: Post by nahau »

Ben Mc wrote:Lifting the lower burr plate - I have put three longer screws in to get more leverage but it is proving rather immoveable - is it worth my while to persevere or should I just put the hoover nozzle there and then reattach the burr (I have bought fresh burrs as the machine was well-used in a restaurant setting)?
I had no problem removing the lower burr carrier on my Mazzer mini using the 3 screw method you attempted. While some poeple state the carrier is press fitted, if so, it's not very tight and mine came off readily. However, since your grinder has been used in a restaurant environment, perhaps a lot of beans have been run through it and old residue has accumutated between the carrier and motor shaft. Some people recommend using a heat gun or hair drier to heat the carrier to help remove it. There is a spring pin through the motor shaft that the carrier keys into. The keying is not a tight clearance fit, so it's not really there to secure the carrier to the shaft but rather just to make sure the carrier spins when the shaft does. I would say the carrier only has to be lifted a maximum of 1/8" to clear the sping pin... at least on my mini. Don't know about the Major. More than likely though, it's probably residue causing the difficult removal.

If you decide not to remove the carrier, you can still clean under it by accessing the bottom through the bean exit chute at the front of the grinder. Just spin the carrier and clean out the old bean particles. You can actually do a decent job just from the front of the machine. Never use canned air, as there's bitterant in it... you probably already read that somewhere.

Ben Mc

#7: Post by Ben Mc »

Thanks for this.

Actually canned air was one thing I hadn't come across! :lol: I did pick up a camera lens air pump thing (forget the proper name) so I can flush out any residue. I kept my vacuum cleaner next to my grinder the last time I owned one!

I would like to get the lower burr carrier up to see under, but may settle for a brush/blow/sweep approach to getting any residue out if it proves too hard. Thanks for your input and help.

nahau

#8: Post by nahau »

The residue under the carrier are all "fines". Being so, they become packed over time. A brush, a vacuum, or blower won't do it. More like a small thin scraper or maybe a small thin flathead screwdriver is needed to knock that stuff off. It'll come off in chunks, then you can brush and vacuum. No real problem attacking from the front though.

Ben Mc

#9: Post by Ben Mc »

Got it, thanks. I presume using said screwdriver as leverage to try to raise the carrier is a bad idea...?

nahau

#10: Post by nahau »

Short answer, yes, bad idea. The chassis, while it feels heavy is not that thick around the chute area. While you might be able to do it, some people have damaged their machine by putting side stress on the carrier, the shaft and bearing. This is all from what I've read, so how much damage is up for grabs. I wouldn't recommend prying at all. The 3 screw method is better. Use a little heat if needed to liquify the resin and you should be able to get it off.

I did this mod on my mini and in the video, the person pried up the carrier (around 1:26 seconds). Mine didn't come off that easily as there is a slight taper to it widening at the bottom.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hor1xIxoiBo

Edit... sorry, I meant the carrier has the taper and it gets tighter the lower it goes down the shaft. Either way, it gets snug at the bottom.

Edit again... I actually just looked at my old mini carriers and perhaps there really is no taper. Might have just been my imagination and junk on the shaft just made it feel tighter down there. :shock: